- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 10, 2006

ISRAEL

March held in support of Jewish state

JERUSALEM — More than 5,000 evangelical Christians, including believers from as far as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and New Zealand, marched through Jerusalem yesterday to show support for Zionism and the state of Israel.

The event, organized by a group called the International Christian Embassy of Israel, was the latest trip to the Holy Land by what are dubbed Christian Zionists, whose avid support of Israel has angered some Christian bishops and the Vatican. They form a growing part of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States.

In recent years, Christian Zionists have provided money for social and educational groups in Israel, and have actively promoted its politics. This year, the Vatican’s envoy in the Holy Land and bishops from three other churches accused the movement of promoting “racial exclusivity and perpetual war.”

GAZA STRIP

Qatar fails to resolve split over Israel

GAZA CITY — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Hamas-led government remained at loggerheads yesterday on recognizing Israel, despite efforts by Qatar to break the deadlock on creating a unity government.

Faced with a stalemate and six months of unprecedented crisis, the Abbas camp raised the possibility of early elections, and Egypt, highly critical of Hamas, called on the Islamists to face up to their responsibilities. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani traveled to the Gaza Strip overnight to seek a compromise.

But the Islamic militant movement refused to bow to the insistence of Mr. Abbas and the international community that any Palestinian government recognize Israel and past peace agreements, and renounce violence.

LEBANON

Army seizes Hezbollah weapons

BEIRUT — The Lebanese army has confiscated arms belonging to the Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah in accordance with a cease-fire agreement brokered by the United Nations, Defense Minister Elias Murr said yesterday.

Asked about unconfirmed press reports about the confiscation of Hezbollah arms, Mr. Murr said: “There were reports in the media about the confiscation of weapons; these reports were true.” It was the first official Lebanese confirmation of a confiscation of arms.

Mr. Murr declined to give details about how many weapons had been confiscated and was vague when describing the army’s role. “The army has two roles,” he said, “to defend the borders and deprive the enemy [Israel] from any justification to return” to southern Lebanon.

Weekly notes …

Turkey accused France yesterday of losing its reason over a draft law on the World War I massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, and warned that bilateral ties will suffer if the bill is enacted. The vote in the French National Assembly tomorrow calls for one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros ($57,000) for anyone who denies that Armenians were the victims of the 1915-1918 mass killings. … An Egyptian human rights organization has called for the abolition of capital punishment on the fourth annual World Day against the death penalty. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights calls for an end to the death penalty in Egypt because “it fails to deter crime” and because of the country’s “history of unfair trials.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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